WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – With the federal government shutdown reaching Day 3 on Thursday, many Westchester County residents said they have not yet felt much impact locally.
With Congress battling over spending plans in the nation’s capital, life in Westchester hasn’t been radically altered. Mail is still being delivered and passports are being processed by the county clerk, while Social Security and Medicare funds remain unaffected.
In New Rochelle, resident Jon Greggs said that he was anxious his Medicare would be cut off until a resolution is reached, but was relieved when he found out the monies were secure.
“I have some health concerns, and I’d be in a bit of a spot if they were to suddenly cut (Medicare) off,” he said. “The government may have had a fight on its hands if they tried to cut off insurance for seniors.”
County Executive Rob Astorino assured residents that while the politicians have it out in Washington, Westchester would be unaffected in the short term.
“Fortunately, there is no immediate effect on the county,” he said on Tuesday, Oct. 1. “From a cash flow standpoint, the county has the money to pay its bills. Federal funds for food stamps and other social services for October are already in place. Our federal transportation money is also in place. The county government is up, running and fully open.”
Although the impact of the government shutdown may not be felt in the county for some time, Scarsdale resident Ed Burns argued that there should never have been a shutdown in the first place.
“We all have to get along with people at work that we don’t like. We don’t always agree with each other, but we work together to reach a solution,” he said. “Why is it that businesspeople have to do this, but our federal government can’t manage to get along?”
Outside the Tuckahoe Post Office, Charles Alston added that there may be no end in sight for the political back-and-forth in Washington. On Tuesday, early enrollment for “Obamacare” became available and the debt ceiling deadline is rapidly approaching on Oct. 17.
“Congress needs to get on the ball and work to get on the same page, because this is just the beginning of important deadlines coming up that they’ll probably disagree on,” he said with a laugh. “If each side could give a little bit and find a compromise, it’d benefit everyone.”
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